Dairy product prices fell at the Global Dairy Trade auction, as whole milk powder slid amid higher-than-anticipated supply.

The GDT price index fell 1.3 per cent from the previous auction three weeks ago. The average price was US$3,487 a tonne. Some 21,580 tonnes of product was sold, up from 18,161 tonnes three weeks ago.

Whole milk powder retreated 1.1 per cent to US$3,205 a tonne.

"There was a greater volume of whole milk powder on offer than had been forecast," Amy Castleton, AgriHQ dairy analyst, said in a note. "Buyers did purchase more whole milk powder than they did at the May 15 [GDT] event, but they were unwilling to pay more for it."

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At the latest GDT auction, cheddar dropped 3.6 per cent to US$3,998 a tonne, while butter slid 3.5 per cent to US$5,581 a tonne.

Anhydrous milk fat eased 1.7 per cent to US$6,222 a tonne.

Meanwhile, skim milk powder gained 0.3 per cent to US$2,051 a tonne, while rennet casein rose 2.7 per cent to US$5,015 a tonne.

Lactose climbed 3.9 per cent to US$714 a tonne, while buttermilk powder jumped 17.7 per cent to US$2,314 a tonne.

"The most surprising result was butter milk powder," Castleton noted. "There seemed to be some fierce competition for buttermilk powder, with prices up significantly in all contract periods."

For sweet whey powder, neither an index nor price was available.

The New Zealand dollar last traded at 70.25 US cents as of 12.24pm in New York, compared with 70.29 US cents at the previous close in Wellington.

There were 118 winning bidders out of 179 participating at the 15-round auction. The number of registered bidders fell to 519, down from 527 at the previous auction.

- BusinessDesk